If one says his name is synonymous with cue sport, it is without any exaggeration. Pankaj Advani's achievements in the world of billiards and snooker could be anybody's envy. Going by his achievements in the last decade or so, one might be tempted to compare him with legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.
Seventeen international titles, including the latest IBSF World 6-Red Snooker title in Egypt, Advani's list is growing. Add to it the 24 national titles, the Bangalore-based professional has taken the cue sport to dizzy heights.
The Khel Ratna awardee, who created history by becoming the only player to win the shorter and the longer formats world of billiards and snooker, was befittingly felicitated at the Karnataka State Billiards Association at a small function here on Friday. What really touched everybody at the gathering was Advani's humility. He has remained the same humble man since he started playing billiards.
That he has a long list of titles, both national and international, in his distinguished career, Advani may not exactly remember how many he has in his kitty. All that he knows is to keep winning which he loves the most. But that does not mean he has not encountered a lean phase. "During tough times I would always share it with my parents who have stood by me all through my career," he said with a sense of gratitude in his voice.
Thanking his coach Arvind Savur for his invaluable coaching tips, Advani said secret behind his success is to keep things simple. "Don't try too hard. When you go without expectations, you are successful." The soft-spoken ace cueist is not the one to rest on the laurels, he was wants to keep winning as long as he can.
For the record, Advani defeated Kacper Flilpiak of Poland in the final last Sunday to win his maiden 6-Red world title.
Vidya V Pillai, another noteworthy woman cueist, who did well to win a bronze at the IBSF World Snooker in Egypt, was also feted on the occasion. A woman of few words, Vidya thanked her family for all the support.
The other famed women cueists, R Umadevi, Chitra Magimairaj were also felicitated on the occasion. Minister for youth and sports affair, K Abhaychandra Jain also spoke on the occasion.